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Team Members, Clients & Communities

Leverage our unconventional culture to leave a positive lasting impact on our team members, clients and communities.

Our Unconventional Culture

Bridgewater’s unconventional corporate culture is driven by the entrepreneurial spirit our people demonstrate every day. This culture has become a true differentiator for how we attract and retain talent, provide responsive service for our clients and support our communities.

Our Core Values

Unconventional

Our clients notice a difference.

Responsive

Under promise. Over deliver.

Dedicated

Don’t stop until you get it done.

Accurate

It’s more than just an expectation.

Growth

If you aren’t moving forward, where are you going?

Investing in Our Team Members

Our Philosophy

Despite today’s highly competitive job market, we have been very successful in attracting and retaining top talent. In fact, we had 220 full-time equivalent employees as of December 31, 2021, a 20% increase from a year ago. Our collaboration-focused corporate culture has been a big reason why. How do we know this? Because our team members have told us that our culture truly sets us apart. At Bridgewater, our people are always top of mind.

A big part of this has been our brand-new Bridgewater Corporate Center which opened in August 2020. With a modern, open design and an entrepreneurial focus, it is tailor-made for team building and collaboration.

Our workplace culture has been recognized as a “Top Workplace” by the Star Tribune and as a “Best Bank to Work For” by American Banker.


Team Member Development

Being an entrepreneurial local bank, our team members are often asked to wear many hats. As a result, we pride ourselves on providing ample opportunities for team members to develop and expand their skill sets within their roles. Through our training, development and continuing education programs, both Bridgewater and our team members benefit through internal advancement within the organization.

One example of our investment in training and development is our partnership with Franklin Covey to provide training offerings, tools and resources with a focus on leadership development for managers at all levels. This is in addition to our generous training reimbursement program for all team members.

We have also established a Mentorship Committee which opens doors for team members to get professional advice and constructive communication from leaders at all levels of the organization. The program provides participants with ways to build leadership skills, learn from others outside of their normal department, and continue to grow both personally and professionally.

Compensation and Benefits

We are focused on aligning team member compensation with both the performance of the bank and the individual. One way we do this is through annual discretionary bonuses which are available for all team members, regardless of level. This is in addition to our competitive benefits package which includes comprehensive healthcare (medical, dental and vision), 401(k) matching, and a gym membership stipend.

Bridgewater became one of the first local Minnesota companies to establish a $20 per hour minimum wage in August 2021. With many of our team members joining the bank through entry-level roles, we wanted to make it clear that everyone plays a vital role in supporting our growing organization. This minimum wage also supports our commitment to a fair and living wage for all employees.

Health and Wellness

Our established Health and Wellness Committee focuses on promoting both physical and mental health across our organization. During 2021, events sponsored by the Health and Wellness Committee included a biking club, virtual yoga, a Bridgewater kickball team, and laser tag, just to name a few. The committee even posts a series of healthy recipes on a monthly basis!

With the increased stress caused by COVID-19 over the past two years and the elevated focus on mental health, the Health and Wellness Committee began providing all team members with free access to a mindfulness app in 2021. Through science-based meditation and mindfulness tools, the app provides our team members with hundreds of exercises for meditation, sleep, focus and movement.

In addition, we have been very open to providing workplace flexibility for team members in light of the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape. Bridgewater returned to the office in June 2021, but in a hybrid model. Approximately 40% of roles were eligible to work remotely up to two days per week while another 30% of roles were eligible one day per week. In response to elevated COVID cases later in the year, non-client-facing employees were given the option to work exclusively from home in November and December. We have been active in leveraging our smaller size to be agile and adjust rapidly to changing circumstances to ensure we are doing what is best for both our team members and clients.

Team Building Initiatives

Team building and networking is another focus of our culture as deepening relationships help create a more positive work environment. One way we do this is through frequent team member social events, including the following:

  • All-team training days
  • Family Day
  • Holiday party
  • Take Your Child to Work Day  
  • Individual department outings
Employee Engagement

Annual employee engagement surveys are an important way for us to identify what is working and what might not be working with our team members. Our Strategic Leadership Team, along with Human Resources, use the results of the surveys each year to prioritize initiatives to enhance our overall team member experience.

Serving Our Clients

Client Experience 

Bridgewater is committed to serving the diverse needs of commercial real estate investors, entrepreneurs, business clients and successful individuals in the Twin Cities area through a wide range of financial products and services. We do this through a service model built on responsive support and simple solutions. With deep expertise and strong network connections in the Twin Cities, we have become a local bank of choice in a market where many local banks have left in recent years. As we tell our clients, “not all is lost in local banking” with Bridgewater Bank.

Being a local bank in the Twin Cities, we take great pride in our ability to develop and maintain strong relationships with our clients. We know our clients by name and our clients know who their point of contact is at Bridgewater. Knowing our clients personally deepens our relationship and is a big reason why over 25% of deposit accounts opened by new clients in 2021 came directly through referrals. This is what it means to truly be a local bank.

Our Proven Process 

1. Discover: With a can-do spirit and local presence, Bridgewater Bank is preferred by successful entrepreneurs and individuals who value responsive support and simple solutions.

2. Onboard: As entrepreneurs ourselves, we anticipate and understand the financial needs of our clients and provide simple, creative solutions to solve them.

3. Execute: Local banking means local decision making. We value action and decisiveness and work quickly to ensure that our clients never miss an opportunity.

4. Support: In-person, online and everywhere in-between, our local team is available to meet our clients' financial needs and exceed expectations.

5. Network: When a client join Bridgewater Bank they join more than a bank—it’s a network.

In addition, we are always looking to do the right thing to make banking at Bridgewater fair and accessible for our clients. This includes refraining from using deceptive or misleading marketing or advertising practices and Compliance and Marketing working closely to ensure all banking regulatory requirements are met.

We also regularly monitor our website to identify and document our continual efforts in ADA Site Accessibility Compliance. With the support of a third-party website governance service, Bridgewater’s website (bwbmn.com) had an accessibility score of 92.1% as of December 31, 2021, above the industry benchmark of 81.6%.

Pandemic Support

Over the past two years, Bridgewater has worked tirelessly to support our clients through the COVID-19 pandemic by providing relief through loan modifications for affected businesses and participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help local businesses retain jobs in our community. In fact, since the start of the pandemic, we provided $316 million of loan modifications to our clients and originated over 1,850 PPP loans totaling $260 million. Over 40% of these PPP loans were to new Bridgewater clients, many of which found our service and process superior to their own bank, and have remained Bridgewater clients ever since.

Our Clients Say It Best

Don’t take our word for it. Here are some of the things are clients are saying:

Lucky Club Entertainment

“Bridgewater has been our key partner in growth. They’re accessible, available, supportive and more importantly for us, fun. It’s like banking with your friend, not your dad.”

Client Since 2015

Greco

“Bridgewater’s ability to adapt, keep pace and deliver unconventional results is invaluable. They are a complete joy to work with.”

Client Since 2006

Supporting Our Communities

A Commitment to Community Development

As a local Twin Cities bank, Bridgewater takes great pride in giving back and supporting the ongoing development of the communities we serve. We have strong leadership and oversight of these efforts through our Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Committee, which was formed in 2013. The CRA Committee focuses on working with non-profit organizations contributing to housing and education initiatives in our community, including low-to-moderate income areas, while also identifying innovative and flexible lending, investment and volunteer opportunities.

In 2020, Bridgewater Bank received the highest possible rating, “Outstanding,” from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for its CRA examination period ending February 2020. The FDIC noted Bridgewater Bank “is a leader in making community development loans” and recognized the Bank’s excellent level of qualified community development investments and grants to support various community development initiatives.

In 2021, the CRA Committee furthered its commitment by formalizing a series of goals for 2022, which include CRA lending as a percent of total loans; CRA investments as percent of total investments; volunteer hours and total team member involvement; and CRA-related contributions.

While we look forward to working toward our new goals in 2022, below is an overview of the impact we made in our communities in 2021:

Community Development Lending

Bridgewater’s community development lending initiatives are focused on the following areas: affordable housing, community service, economic development, revitalization or stabilization, and abandoned or foreclosed homes. We also provided financing for Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties to incentivize development. Examples of recent projects include:

  • St. Louis Park, MN: $19.5 million construction loan for a 112-unit apartment building related to revitalization and affordable housing
  • Minneapolis, MN: $12.3M construction loan to build a 102-unit moderate-income apartment building 
  • Bloomington, MN: $2.1M loan to refinance and stabilize a 42-unit LIHTC property


Contributions and Events

Each year, Bridgewater Bank makes various financial contributions to CRA-qualified causes in the areas of affordable housing, community service, education and economic development, as well as non-CRA-qualified causes including health and wellness and military non-profits. These contributions often include sponsorships of impactful local events supporting the important work of these non-profits.

Volunteerism and Financial Literacy

In addition to financial contributions, Bridgewater Bank encourages all employees to volunteer their time to serve the community through initiatives including housing and financial literacy.

In fact, through our unique Volunteer Time Off program, we create community engagement opportunities for team members that are meaningful, purposeful and help those in need. As part of this program, all full-time team members receive up to 16 hours of paid time off per year for any volunteer opportunity meeting CRA requirements.

Financial literacy programs are of special interest to us given our role as a local bank in the community. We recognize the importance of educating students on key financial principles and preparing them with strong financial habits when they get out on their own. We have demonstrated this commitment through our volunteer support of community partners including BestPrep and Junior Achievement.


BestPrep

Prepares students with business, career and financial literacy skills through hands-on experience that inspires success in work and life.

Junior Achievement

Uses proven lessons in financial literacy, work and career and entrepreneurship to inspire and prepare young people to succeed.


Internal Blood Drive


In December 2021, Bridgewater team members volunteered to roll up their sleeves in support of the American Red Cross by donating blood during our first-ever blood drive. We had nearly 18% of our team members participate in the blood drive and enough blood donated to save over 90 lives.

Ready for something 

unconventional?